RPSB grade promotion system set to change

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Over the last few years Alexandria Senior High School Assistant Principal Jody Goodman has noticed some ninth graders struggling.

"We see that they are frustrated," Goodman said. "That they are not ready for their high school courses."

But, this year when eighth graders sit down to take the LEAP 2025 state assessment their score will decide if they get the green light to freshman year.

"Eighth-graders will not be allowed to go to ninth grade unless they have the scores or they attend summer remediation," said Executive Assistant Superintendent Kim Bennett.

Bennett said students who want a passing grade need to get a 'basic' achievement score in either math, English or language arts and 'approaching basic' in the other two.

They will also enter into transitional ninth grade, taking technical reading and math classes.

"They will have five years to graduate from high school, which more importantly, we will be able to schedule them in the right classes to give them the support they need," Bennett said.

The guidelines will also affect fourth-graders. However, they need to score 'basic' in two core subjects or they will be put on an individual academic improvement plan, and may have to take summer class.

"It will make students take the test seriously and make sure that they show us what they know on that test," said RPSB Director of Middle and Magnet Schools Brandy Lawrence. "We know the test is not everything to the student, but it really will give us a good prediction of how they will do in high school."

Ninth grade summer remediation is set for July 30th to August 2, due to the late arrival of LEAP scores

"We do not get scores back until the end of June," Bennett said. "So, parents, guardians, we need your help. It's going to be very important that if you are not contacted to find out what your students scores are, that you do the contacting."

It's a significant change but Goodman is hopeful that it gets more students to the finish line.

"We want 100% graduation rate in four years," Goodman said. "And even our 9T kids coming in, we don't want them to be frustrated, we want them to have success while they are here."

The Pupil Progression Committee will officially present their plan to the school board on February 6.

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